Com­mu­nity bands to­gether for chil­dren’s hol­i­day party

The Community Connection - - LOCAL NEWS - By Mar­ian Den­nis mden­[email protected]­tu­ry­media. com @Mar­i­anDen­nis1 on Twit­ter

LOWER POTTS­GROVE >> They say it takes a vil­lage to raise a child.

In this case, it took a town to bring 300 some Christ­mas cheer.

On Dec. 15, over 600 peo­ple packed into Sun­ny­brook Ball­room in Lower Potts­grove to cel­e­brate the hol­i­days at the 35th an­nual Hol­i­day Party for chil­dren. Presents could be seen piled near mul­ti­ple trees through­out the ball­room as guests en­joyed some food and com­pany at the fes­tive event.

“To­day we have 300 chil­dren com­ing to this party,” said Jim Fry­moyer, who or­ga­nizes the event ev­ery year. “This party started 35 years ago at the Moose Lodge. We had 75 chil­dren. We have over 300 chil­dren this year and thanks to the Sun­ny­brook Ball­room we were able to have this party.”

By 11 a.m., the event’s start time, over 600 peo­ple had made their way in­side. Guests were wel­come to a va­ri­ety of food and drink as well as loads of ac­tiv­i­ties for the kids in at­ten­dance. Chil­dren en­joyed face paint­ing, a magic show, bal­loon an­i­mals, presents from Santa and more.

The event has grown sub­stan­tially in just the past year. Last year, the party wel­comed just over 150 chil­dren. On Dec. 15, that num­ber was dou­bled to 300 chil­dren.

And it’s not just the kids that have grown in num­bers. More and more area busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions are tak­ing part in the event. Fry­moyer part­nered with the NAACP Pottstown Chap­ter as well as with Sun­ny­brook Ball­room, Com­fort Inn and sev­eral other area busi­nesses to make the party pos­si­ble. Over a dozen bi­cy­cles were do­nated by area churches and po­lice de­part­ments.

“We couldn’t have done this with­out the help of the com­mu­nity, the po­lice de­part­ments, the busi­nesses. You have to give from the heart and that’s what each and ev­ery one of us do, give from the heart,” said Fry­moyer.

Want­ing to give to the com­mu­nity is ex­actly what brought so many more or­ga­ni­za­tions into the mix.

“What I love about it is this is what Pottstown is about and this is what the NAACP’s mis­sion is about, to con­nect peo­ple of dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions to­gether and show the real Pottstown. You look around and see all these dif­fer­ent di­verse groups of peo­ple. This is Pottstown,” said Johnny Cor­son, pres­i­dent of the NAACP Pottstown Chap­ter.

It was through the NAACP that Fry­moyer was able to get in touch with Charles Gu­lati, owner of Sun­ny­brook Ball­room, to host the party there.

“For the last year or so we’ve been try­ing to do some­thing nice for the kids around the hol­i­days. We tried to do some­thing last year and it didn’t quite work out so I was in­tro­duced to Jim through Johnny Cor­son. Jim came in and I ab­so­lutely loved his idea, loved his pas­sion for what he does. So we signed on right away and said, ‘Let’s make it a great event,’” said Gu­lati. “We are so blessed to have so many peo­ple from the com­mu­nity come out to help.”

And the com­mu­nity work doesn’t stop there. On Dec. 21, vol­un­teers gath­ered at the Pottstown YMCA to pack up food boxes for 150 fam­i­lies that will in­clude a hol­i­day ham or tur­key with all the trim­mings.

“I’m just so thank­ful for the NAACP and the peo­ple that do­nated to this pro­ject,” Fry­moyer said tear­ing up. “Next year we’ll make it big­ger and bet­ter. I keep do­ing this year af­ter year be­cause the need is there and there’s not a child or par­ent in here to­day that, as they walked out, didn’t say thank you. I’ll be do­ing this un­til the day I die.”

All sorts of Christ­mas char­ac­ters showed up at Sun­ny­brook Ball­room Dec. 15 to have some fun dur­ing the an­nual hol­i­day party for chil­dren.

PHO­TOS BY MAR­IAN DEN­NIS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Kids were all smiles Dec. 15 as they watched a magic show dur­ing the 35th an­nual hol­i­day party for chil­dren at Sun­ny­brook Ball­room.

Kids smiled and laughed as they watched a magic show at Sun­ny­brook Ball­room. The show was part of the 35th an­nual hol­i­day party for chil­dren.

Kids had a blast par­tic­i­pat­ing in a magic show dur­ing the an­nual hol­i­day party for chil­dren. The magic show was just one of the ac­tiv­i­ties planned for kids at the party.

Kids were treated to a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties at the 35th an­nual hol­i­day party for chil­dren. Ac­tiv­i­ties in­cluded face paint­ing, bal­loon an­i­mals and magic shows.

Face paint­ing was a pop­u­lar sta­tion dur­ing the 35th an­nual hol­i­day party for chil­dren.

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